The coffee shop rocks some stellar music this morning. 1901 by Phoenix blasts through the speakers as I sit in the back corner watching the locals swing through and converse around the shop. The Sit and Stay Café houses a bookshelf where patrons can exchange reading material. There are piles of old books and ironic literature. “Tears of the Giraffe” stands out as I turn to the lady next to me and she calls out, “Excuse me?” She asks me if I know which coffee is the best? I look up from The Orange County Register and lean slightly forward to suggest the one on the far right. After she fills her mug, she swings back to her seat and we begin to engage in conversation. She is a delightful older woman with a southern accent and bright blue eyes. She tells me that she is from Texas and visiting her daughter and son-in-law here in sunny California. She talks about seeing her grandchildren and how excited she is to spend time with them. I smile back, ask questions, and express admiration for the exchange that took place. I get back to my breakfast sandwich and black coffee as I sift through the newspaper. I watch as two young girls take a photo and discuss uploading it to Instagram. This leads me to immediately think of hashtags, which leads me to think of texting. Then, I am reminded of a time when passing notes was cool. In school when you wanted to elicit the attention of a friend or chat, you had to pass a note. I recall intricate folding and the rush of passing it so the teacher wouldn’t see. A thrill in its own right.
A friend and I reminisced about dial-up the other day. She recalled her parents having to get two phone lines because you could not use the internet and be on the phone at the same time. There was a time when we still had to be patient. The lady in the coffee shop was in her 60s, nearly 30 years older than me and these girls were probably around 15, so about half the age gap. I feel slightly removed from social engagement via app. What happen to conversing in the coffee shop or asking a stranger a question or engaging in a conversation? I will tell you what happen. #facebook #instagram #snapchap #socialmedia. All of this seems to be causing something more than just a lack of communication. It causes a lack of thrill, a lack of adrenaline, and a lack of excitement. We are tagging photos and selfies everywhere we go. We want to project happiness without truly understanding what it takes to grasp it. There is no grace for messes. We are gaining more control and causing more anxiety in a world where letting go and learning how to handle change are very important. We online date as a result of the downfall of present and personal communication. We become neurotic. We become impatient. The lyrics of 1901 still play. “Watch them build up a material tower. Think it’s not going to stay anyway. Think it’s overrated.” The dynamics of human relationships have not changed much in those 45 years from the teens I see to the older woman I speak with, but so much has changed in our means of communication.
I am proposing that ten years ago, we knew how to balance lack of control in life and bounce back from change. Are we creating a generation so in control that the slightest change will cause fear? We used to have to wait for a boy or girl to write back or tell the friend if they liked us back; rejection built character. Now we swipe to the left and the fear of rejection is gone. Lack of fear or other human emotions causes us to gain more control. The more control we think we have, the less we actually do. Anxieties and fears have to be dealt with. In order to be dealt with, they have to be created.
How many hours have you gone without texting your significant other? I assume that most of us will answer something less than 2 hours to this question. Most of us will never answer anything over 12 hours unless we are working, sleeping or lost our cell phone in the debauchery of our weekend shenanigans. For the purposes of this article- sleeping and working do not count for giving you high fives on being away from your smart phone.
How many minutes or hours do you go without texting your significant other or a friend back? Or how many times have you taken awhile to respond to someone and minutes later they send you a ?
How many of us have our phones by our sides when we sleep and eat? How many of us get anxious at the thought of leaving the phone at home for a whole day? The answer to these questions: Most of us. When did we become a society that had to respond immediately or had to be told not to text and drive. I recognize that we are a society of now and fast, but when it comes to our relationships the notion of right away is destroying the wonders that make relationships special in the first place.
Recall being in high school and waiting for your crush to call. Your mom or dad would answer the phone and yell into the other room, “It’s for you!” You would get really excited, your face would get red, your heart would beat and your ridiculous smile would make your cheeks hurt. You would drag the phone cord as far as you could to get a little privacy. After a conversation in which minutes felt like hours you would say goodbye. After getting off the phone you would sit, smile and dream. You would repeat this for years, but then something happen. That same boy or girl you were interested in didn’t call, they sent you a text. Something along the lines of Hi;) It was enjoyable in the beginning but still not as exciting as getting a call and hanging up. You didn’t know that someone was into you instantly by way of emoticon. The excitement lingered for weeks and months not hours or days.
You see, we never hang up with text messaging, it is this ongoing conversation that literally never has an ending. When you are in a relationship you never get the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” because you are all up in each others messaging all the time. Or if you are dating and one party decides to make it have an ending (i.e not texting back) we get confused and wonder if we did something wrong. Maybe he thought I was mad. Maybe she doesn’t think I’m funny. Maybe he doesn’t want me anymore. We make all these guesses because we actually have no idea how anyone honestly feels anymore because you can only try to interpret through messaging. The bottom line is our cell phones are ruining our relationship satisfaction because there is no excitement in it anymore. All the maybe thoughts or the anxiety that you have should only lead to one thought, I am too available which is boring. This isn’t people wanting what they can’t have, this is a genuine human response to want excitement and wonder.
Your boyfriend, girlfriend, or dating partner has access to you anytime- all the time. But it goes both ways. We can not have the expectation that people have to get back to us this second. That people have to text us no matter what they are doing. Maybe someone is busy. Or maybe they just don’t want to talk to you right now. And honestly, why is that second one not okay? Am I really obligated to talk to everyone who texts me every second that they do it? There are times when I don’t feel like it. If we were all honest, we would understand that we all feel like that at some point. Maybe they had a long day. Maybe they don’t like you. Maybe they don’t have their phone on them. Maybe they are in a meeting. Whatever the reason is, if you want to get to the point of someone sticking around and being in awe of you- you have to be a little mysterious. You have to stop being boring and available. You also have to remind yourself that even if the other person is going to be offended by not hearing back from you right away, that is on them, not you. It speaks volumes of the assumptions that they will make throughout the relationship.
I honestly hear this time and time again, “He hasn’t texted me back.” I then ask, “Well how long has it been?” Reply, “Well ten minutes.” My response is always the same. It has only been ten minutes. I am not sure what the etiquette is for response time in texting, but there needs to not even be a window. Whoever the person is, they will see the text, and they will respond to it when they damn well please. In the end, the person texts back if they want to continue to engage with you. If this is someone who you are starting to date and they don’t text back- that’s called rejection. I get it and I am not afraid to admit that it has happened to me many times. Brush it off and move on. The point is, we need to remind ourselves to talk instead of text. To be patient instead of anxious. We need to put the excitement back into our dating lives and relationships by giving someone something to miss and by us missing them.
One day at the gym I overheard a man and woman chatting with one another. The woman was talking about her upcoming celebration for 23 years of marriage and he was discussing that his 40 year marriage anniversary had just passed. I remain in awe about how these couples manage to give support and love throughout the years. I also can’t help but wonder how couples today will connect and survive in today’s technology driven society.
The digital age brought around a huge evolution for business and educational styles. Our daily lives have changed significantly due to search engines and social sites. But have our dating lives and our self-development increased at the same pace? Smart phones have become a great technological advance to cellphones. Have humans evolved in their dating styles or are we still T9 dating?
The release of smart phones and social dating sites has left us no more savvy consumers in the dating world than we are in the public arena. If you are hoping to get out of bad dating patterns, hiding online won’t help. Give a girl who dates jerks 5 guys and she is likely to pick the 1 jerk out of the bunch. Give her 100 guys and she is still likely to pick the jerk. The real question is if your mental aptitude for dating has enough ram to keep up with the current technology. Maybe it is time to upgrade ourselves before we go fishing, get on ok cupid, download the tinder app or pay for sites like match and e-harmony.
The first smart phone came out in 1993. In the last ten years smart phones are the new norm. But what has happen to our dating lives? What are the advances to our human development that are making dating better today then it was ten years ago? In a world where you have 1,009 Facebook friends and 876 Instagram followers, the only human evolution has happened to our egos. That doesn’t equate with making us more responsible dating partners. Bigger egos may make approaching another person easier as we become more aggressive, but it isn’t helping us develop compassion for being thoughtful in romantic relationships.
Society might be on the cusp of social explosion. I can not tell you how many photos I have seen where guys have their pants unbuttoned and I can almost see their junk. This isn’t what I signed on for. This type of dating has allowed the douches to get even douchier (as if it was possible). I find myself erasing more messages than actually connecting on a real human level. What is socially appropriate publically weeds out that kind of behavior and nonsense. But online, anything goes.
You are what you are online and offline. Whatever attitude, defenses, lifestyles, or energy that you have as a person, you will have on a computer. It is important to develop yourself with other people in mind. Sorry, Selfies, it’s not all about you.
I hear many people say, “I hate games.” Relationship games that is. They are referring to having to wait three days to call a potential date, or purposely ignoring someone to make them want you.
The problem is; I can not tell you to play games or to not play games. We all have different temperaments when it comes to our likes and dislikes in a relationship. I can assure you that most of the need for games comes out of a skewed vision of what relationships should be. That said, it is difficult to change what we view as normal and healthy verses what other people do. Some people think that fighting in a relationship is healthy and that not fighting can cause tension. I urge us to think differently about that matter, that working out the communication differences and arguments is key. But not getting on COPS for a domestic dispute call is also key. However, because we can not change some else’s thinking, you may need to change some of our actions.
I have a friend who is in a relationship and her man will claim that he hates games. However, he is always more attentive when she isn’t as available. Why is this? Why do people claim to hate games, but happen to be a sneaky part of the process? Even if you don’t instigate the game, you may still have to play it.
Some people play games on accident. I have a few girlfriends who are busy and more concerned with their jobs, activities, and friends than they are relationships. Both of these girls secured a husband and are doing a great job keeping that balance and love in the marriage. It is their nature to not be as “needy” as some woman can come across as. It is the “needy” women that may have a hard time securing a man without engaging in some game playing.
As part of the relationship process, games later become irrelevant. It is the same way with how men are romantic at first, but then this fizzles. If we want something bad enough, we will go after it. However, if it is a baseball game, you can’t bring a soccer ball. You have to come equip to win the game with the proper tools, and sometimes playing games is one of those tools.
Tomorrow I will touch on: How do you know which games to play and when to play them?
Well everyone, sexting was officially added in Webster’s Dictionary this year. “Sexting” is defined as: a blend of the words sex and texting, and first came into use in 2007. It’s the act of sending lewd messages or racy photos via cellphone.
If you are of the baby booming generation or older, just ask your oldest (one that it at least in college) kid about this. Also make sure to talk about it to your teens. Sexting is something that needs discussed and understood. The worst thing you can do is ignore the issue and let teens’ peers help them make these decisions. Simply talk to them and help them understand the dangers.
Why do you think it’s okay to Sext me?
Have you ever gotten some shirtless picture from a person deciding to send it to you after taking it in their bathroom mirror?
Do you sometimes get text language from a possible partner that seems vulgar?
Overall, a person that crosses lines like this does not have much discrepancy themselves. Your language, texts and interactions may be responsible for leading them astray. I am not suggesting that you are the one giving them the wrong idea, but controlling your actions is always easier than controlling someone else’s. Control your actions and hopefully theirs by following these don’ts.
- Use sexual language
- Send sexual pictures
- Make jokes that allude sexual talk
- Overstep your own boundaries
- Be too sexual in your mannerisms
Never assume that your privacy is safe with someone when it can be quickly streamed or sent anywhere.
When we talk about the “other” person in the affair, we often have no sympathy for someone who is willing to come in the middle of a relationship. Maybe we shouldn’t have any, however if you have ever been the “other” person in an extramarital affair or with someone who is in an exclusive relationship, you should look into why you think it is okay to make these decisions.
- Why do I keep going with a relationship where I know the other person is exclusively involved with someone?
- Have I been cheated on or hurt and am doing this to get back at others for my own heartache?
- What values and morals do I have that contradict my actions?
- What if I was in this situation and the “other” person was with my partner? How would I feel?
- Do I feel any remorse for the decisions that I make of this nature? Why or why not?
New social sites such as Ashley Madison- “Life is Short, Have an Affair”, promote actions of deceit and affairs. I have a problem with this site, it encourages the wrong kind of intimacy and excitement. You should find excitement within your relationship.
If you find yourself unhappy and you sabotage others’ relationships, it is time you evaluate your own life and intentions.
If you find yourself in this situation, and someone in a relationship is pursuing you, try this:
Make it clear to the other person that you are not interested. Maybe you met this person and they did not mention their relationship. The second you find out about it walk away. Someone who is willing to leave their current relationship for you, may also be willing to leave you later for another person.
Ignore friend requests on Facebook or other social sites. Contact of this nature may seem harmless, but the more contact you have, the harder it may be to say no.
Ignore phone calls and texts. Position yourself in a way to fight off the inappropriate relationship from the beginning.
Stand your ground. Sometimes people just want what they can’t have, so ignoring them may make them try harder. When this happens, you need to make it clear to them that you are not interested in pursuing a relationship or a friendship. When we begin letting them in, even just as a friend, we already know we may later cross lines.
There is etiquette that needs to be taken into consideration when texting. Let’s go over some of the simple guidelines when texting.
Tone. It is always important to remember that texts only have the tones that you give them. It is more appropriate to try to keep a neutral mind when trying to impart a tone onto a text.
:) The smiley face. This is a good indication when tone can be misconstrued by the person receiving the text. It says, “Hey, I am having a good time in this conversation and it is not being taken out of context.”
! The exclamation point. Some people really like to end their sentences this way. If it is used sparingly, take it as the individual being excited about said situation, such as hanging out with you soon. But don’t read into a person that !’s all the time. They are ‘just not that into you’ just because they ! you most of the time.
;) The winky face. This is much like poking someone on Facebook. It is a way to elude to someone that you are interested. Be careful in utilizing the ;) with someone that you are not into. Make sure that you don’t ;) someone who you wouldn’t go out with on an actual date.